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The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  818 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
During the spring of 1536 in Tudor England, events conspire to bring down Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England. The coup against the Queen results in the brutal executions of six innocent people - Anne Boleyn herself, her brother, and four courtiers - and the rise of a new Queen. Drawing on sixteenth century letters, eye witness accounts and chronicles, Claire Ridgway leads t ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published April 30th 2012 by MadeGlobal Publishing/Create Space (first published April 26th 2012)
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Rio (Lynne)
Mar 18, 2013 Rio (Lynne) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-a-copy
If you want to learn about the actual happenings of this trial and time, this is the only book you need to read. Just like today, the press spins stories to manipulate the public and if people read it, they sadly believe it. In 1536 it was no different. The author includes The Chronicle of Calais and The Spanish Chronicle's versions of the beheadings. How different they are. Then we have Eustace Chapuys version (a man we know who was not on The Boleyn's side) and writers and some historians have ...more
Jul 31, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit I was somewhat wary of this book. Overall, however, it is actually very good. What I particularly liked, perhaps Ridgway's tone, was the fact that she presents areas of dispute equally. In other words, she gives the evidence for each side, gives each side equal room, and then explains her conclusion.

But I have to agree with Isis - Seymour's death is wrong, I believe. This could be a typo. - See comment section below. Apparently this is going to be fixed. I must say Ridgway is a L
After having read Hilary Mantel’s richly detailed Bring Up the Bodies, depicting the downfall of the Boleyns from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, I had a sudden hankering to get back to the stark, unadorned sources and facts about events. Claire Ridgway’s The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown was ideal for that purpose, presenting events in an extremely clear and useful chronological format, and cutting through the mire of myth and examining source reliability and bias as we go along. It’s th ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
In this book Claire Ridgway plots the last few months of Anne Boleyn’s life, the players in her dramatic fall and details the reasons behind Anne’s execution. She starts her book by giving a brief description of the people involved in Anne Boleyn’s fall; Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, George Boleyn, Katherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, Eustace Chapuys and of course Anne Boleyn just to name a few. I thought this was a wonderful inclusion as there were many people involved within those fatal few month ...more
I appreciated the small opening biographies of the "cast" and did glean a lot of information from this book, so overall I did enjoy it.

However, there were times when I was very frustrated with the author. If you are looking for excerpts of old writings and letters to collaborate theories, this is the book for you. If you just want to read a narrative of what happened (or one person's thoughts on what happened), I have a harder time recommending this. Many of the quotes and excerpts that were us
May 07, 2012 Niki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was entertaining and informative. However, there were a lot of typos and grammatical errors and I really thought it was unprofessional when the author started saying "I think" or "in my opinion". It's one thing for a blog, but completely another where you are writing a book that (I am assuming?) you want to be taken seriously. On the plus side, Ms. Ridgway is serious about her endeavor to discover and spread the truth about a poorly understood and misremembered (I am making up my own w ...more
Jun 23, 2012 Jess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2016 Norav rated it it was amazing
Shelves: britain-history
J'aime toujours autant cette auteur. Ses explications sont vraiment très claires et accessibles.
Ce qui me plait par dessus tout, c'est qu'elle cite toutes ses sources. Elle ne se contente pas de nous donner son avis. Elle compare les différentes informations positives et négatives avant de donner sa propre opinion.
Mary Josefina Cade
Mar 08, 2015 Mary Josefina Cade rated it it was amazing
Queen Anne Boleyn, six fingered witch or dark eyed woman of wit and intelligence? This is an endlessly debated question and the topic of countless novels and academic books. What was Anne’s true nature? What did she look like? Did she cheat on Henry VIII? Following her execution Henry destroyed Anne’s portraits and possibly her letters and much else. Opinions vary from person to person, but I favour feisty, witty Anne, a faithful wife who captivated Henry VIII with her outspokeness, intelligence ...more
Claire Ridgway
Apr 30, 2012 Claire Ridgway added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
My own book!
Apr 01, 2015 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biographical
I found The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown to be an amazing book. Anne Boleyn was an intriguing person in English history. We all know she was beheaded. We know she was a wife of Henry VIII. We know she was not her first wife nor was she his last. And most of us know that she & King Henry VIII were the parents of Queen Elizabeth I.

I personally always felt that Anne was doomed when she met the King.

The writer, Claire Ridgeway, approaches the life of Anne Boleyn via a timeline or countdown.
This was well written with a lot of quotes from primary sources so the author has clearly done extensive research. But it felt more like a collection of blog entries (which may very well be the case). I think it could have been edited differently to flow better rather than having short, choppy chapters that were sometimes only a page or two long.

Occasionally, I felt it was a little vague in places where I was interested in seeing more detail. For example, the author details how others have come
Jim McIntosh
Feb 06, 2015 Jim McIntosh rated it really liked it
Not knowing much of the particulars of Henry VIII and his six wives, I found this book to be a delightful introduction to the fall of Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn. The author does a good job of mixing events of the days leading to the queen's execution with biographies of the players and other background material. The result is a book of interest to both experts as well as beginners like me.

Two observations. First, the author is quite outspoken about what she thinks are the causes and motiv
May 21, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it
This is a well thought out and thoroughly researched book about the last days of Anne Boleyn. I love learning about "The Tudor Era" and this book is one of the best I have read. Very historically written and it is in the form of a diary. This book makes me respect Anne Boleyn more than I have before. Most documents make her out to be snotty and irrespectable. This is a total opposite account of what she was like. I definitely recommend to those who like British history and King Henry VIII period ...more
May 23, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tudor, history
In a word - Excellent! I've read dozens of books related to Tudor history, specifically Anne Boleyn and this is one of the best. The information is presented in an easy to follow and logical order that is practically impossible to put down. I have always believed the situation surrounding the the fall of Anne Boleyn to be a case of The perfect storm" and I had to smile when I saw I really wasn't alone in this opinion. Definitely a book I will be reading again!
Aug 06, 2012 Thalia rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudor

Written in a rather conversational tone it might make you suspect of what the author is trying to pass off. However, this book does a nice job of a condensed history of the fall of Anne Boleyn. My favourite part however, is the catalogue of historical characters, especially the "after" ones. You don't see that very often
Apr 25, 2015 James rated it it was amazing
What I liked so much about this book is it is so easy to dip in and out of, it is presented in a diary format which makes it easy to absorb, as some historical biographies and texts can be a bit too wordy and a struggle to get through. The countdown starts on the death of Henry's first wife Catherine of Aragon on the 7th January 1536, and takes you right up to Jane Seymour being proclaimed Queen on 4th June five months later. Included is a cast list at the beginning- followed at the end with a c ...more
Jun 11, 2012 Tara rated it it was ok
Only read this because it was free in the Kindle Lending Library. No new information and not very well-written, but a basic layouts of the facts from original sources that allows readers to make their own decision about Anne Boleyn's fate and who sentenced her to it.
Feb 21, 2013 Nisha rated it it was ok
Some good research here and told without too much spin (there is some although the author does better than most in trying to avoid it). Unfortunately, the writing style was like that of an unschooled teenager and did not appeal to me.
Kilian Metcalf
Aug 19, 2013 Kilian Metcalf rated it really liked it
A complete, concise, and comprehensive account of the fall and death of Anny Boleyn. There is a bonus list of the primary actors in the case with their own eventual ends. I found it very useful for reference.
Alissa Chandler
Jul 28, 2012 Alissa Chandler rated it did not like it
A really bad book. Tedious, boring and these were the best parts. I can't say enough negative things about this book.
I was very disappointment and this is a topic I absolutely love.
Apr 20, 2015 Hannah rated it it was amazing
What a great book, the time line of how it all happened. Queen Anne has her last miscarriage and then the plot was born of how to murder Queen Anne and the men that went down with her. I recommend this book to any Anne Boleyn Fan.

This book made me so angry at times, I wanted to go back in time to and smack Henry and Cromwell right in the face. I wanted to run to Anne and warn her of what was going to happen to her and save her the power of these men and the murder they were planning.

It's so sad
The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown is about the time and events leading up to the execution of Anne Boleyn. While we may never know the truth about what really happened, this book does a fantastic job of presenting the facts, along with the rumors that ran rampant around this case. By allowing the reader to read the information that's available, and by presenting it in a concise and easy-to-read format, the author delivers a wonderful defense of Anne Boleyn.

I've been fascinated by the history
Mar 31, 2013 Jodi rated it really liked it
Claire Ridgeway does an excellent job making the material of Anne Boleyn’s fall accessible to all readers: those well-versed in the material, novices and everyone in-between. I happen to fall in the in-between having my own blog on Queen Elizabeth I at

The layout garners itself for modern readers who are used to jumping from topic to topic on internet pages. That actually leads to one of my two concerns with this book for those of us who read materials cover to cover —lar
Dec 12, 2012 Susan rated it liked it
This book is a careful collation of facts and dates to clear the fictions around the actual persons and events of those tumultous and murderous Tudors. It's very well put together and presented, and in a sense is the "User Guide" to all the material we have around, that makes great fiction but may not be accurate factually. It's careful timeline and presentation of facts forces you to think and make up your mind about what really went on, especially the farcical trials by juries.
I didn't realis
Tracey Watson
May 22, 2013 Tracey Watson rated it really liked it
I found this book very informative and enjoyable. The format of the book is on the whole well set out so that the reader can dip into it as and when. As a Tudor fan, and having read both non fiction and fiction on this subject I was pleasantly surprised how this book highlighted events and timelines which others haven't and putting the events of Anne Boleyn and the King in perspective. I feel that much of the information has definitely opened my eyes to another side of side of those in the Tudor ...more
Megan Roman
Jan 05, 2013 Megan Roman rated it really liked it
I decided to kick off 2013 with The Fall of Anne Boleyn because, really, it’s been far too long since my last Tudor read. And while I have a few biographies sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be cracked open, I opted to revisit Ridgway’s personable and accessible writing style instead. Similarly to The Anne Boleyn Collection, The Fall of Anne Boleyn, at times, reads like a conversation that the reader could be taking part in with the author. I love that you don’t only get historical facts and ex ...more
Jaime Rispoli-Roberts
This really was a countdown to Anne Boleyn's fall. After a brief introduction, the book jumps straight into Summer of 1535 and The Royal Progress. It doesn't just end with the execution of Queen Anne; There are a few short chapters on Jane Seymour and a sort of "where they are now" of many of the royal "players" after Anne's execution. It was very informative, clearly written and interesting.

I am a history major with a concentration is on US history, therefore, although I have studied some Euro
Ridgway carefully sifts the evidence surrounding Anne Boleyn's fall from the King's favor, her trial, and execution. I've read my fair share of Tudor history, but Ridgway still made several points new to me. For instance, although I knew the space of time between accusing Anne of adultery and her execution was short (less than a month!), I never realized that only days before the accusations Henry was still referring to Anne as his queen in writing and pushing for foreign courts to recognize her ...more
Jan 24, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: november2015
Best ask Far

I have always been fascinated with the Tudor era although if I lived then I probably would have been in the tower because I am vehemently Plantangenet. However, the Tudor era is fascinating. Ridgeway does an excellent job of presenting the case of Anne Boleyn. I never cared for her but always thought she was innocent of the charges against her. She was a sophisticated, educated and intelligent woman. In the case of Henry III, her only real fault was that she didn't give him a son.
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Claire Ridgway is the author of the best-selling books On This Day in Tudor History(October 2012), The Anne Boleyn Collection (Feb 2012), The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown (April 2012), The Anne Boleyn Collection II (September 2013) George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat (April 2014) and Sweating Sickness: In an Nutshell (August 2014).

Claire worked in education and freelance writing b
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